Cask Days

So, I actually thought trying to live blog Cask Days was doable. Silly me. That idea lasted up until my friend Katherine and I were standing by the California casks with our first samples in our glass, talking to Sarah and Dennis who I had met at last year’s event. At that point I decided it was going to be far more fun to drink and talk to people rather than peck away at my phone-sized keyboard.

I won’t say that the day went pear-shaped, but it got busy. We talked to so many people, running into Robin The Beer Wench, Erica from Black Oak and the rest of the ladies from SOBDL, George from F & M, and Jeff from Indie Ale House. I was happily waylaid by Hollisha from McAuslan who bade me try more of the ciders than I was planning on. Glad she did, as the three I tried were delicious! I’d have to say that the Schoolyard Crab by West Avenue was my favourite, tart without being overly sour and with a nice apple flavour.

 

Ciders

The ciders

I tried to keep track of the beer that I sampled, but as with all beer festivals, it kind of falls apart near the end as the area of the brain in charge of taking pictures and notes starts to get a bit wobbly around the edges.

The beer.

The beer.

Not surprisingly, they all seemed to fall into the sour or dark categories. Of those above, I only really count two as a complete miss: the Monkish Crux had an aftertaste like the cough drops our German neighbour used to give me when I was a kid, and the vanilla stout by Beer Academy just had way too much vanilla going on. The R&B oatmeal stout with figs had a great nose and initial taste, but there was an odd dusty/powdery aftertaste that spoiled my enjoyment of it. The beers my tastebuds loved the most was the Gose Strikes Back by Beavertown and Flying Monkey’s Drunk by Chocolate. I also really enjoyed the St. John’s Wort Helliwell, and not just because of the historical provenance or the fact it was made by the NC Teaching Brewery.

There were others that I tried on the insistence of people I met, sipping from glasses and comparing thoughts:

  • #13, Barrel-Aged Derailleur biere de garde by Ladyface Ale
  • #85, Smoked Apple Lager by R&B. I would have missed this tasty brew if not for Robin!
  • Dubbel Trouble, a collaboration between Central City and Parallel 49
  • Black Currant Brown Ale by Big Rock (not enough black currant IMHO, but I like them more than most people do)
  • Dawson Kreik by Sawdust City

Apparently that’s all my liver could stand in a 5 hour period.

Huge thanks and congratulations to the Moranas for putting on such a great event, what my friend called “Christmas for beer nerds”. It felt a bit less crowded than last year, which this introvert appreciates. The sun made an appearance for most of the afternoon, and the temperature was nice enough that I didn’t need to break out my knitted beer knit.

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